BBC Worldwide has increased its catalog of BBC rock and pop output and archive programming, a move which the broadcaster's commercial arm says has led to a "surge" in international music program sales.

According to a statement, a "major investment" meant that BBC Worldwide Music was able to reacquire the distribution rights to live performance show "Later... With Jools Holland" in late 2008. The program is described as an "international best-seller," with eight broadcasters in 20 territories already acquiring series 33 of the show.

A new music television strategy means that BBC Worldwide now offers more than 60 hours of programming, ranging from mainstays such as "Later..." and archive recording "Top of the Pops: The Collection" to performances from BBC events such as the "Electric Proms" and Radio 1's "Big Weekend." There are also single artist performances under the BBC Sessions brand.

BBC Worldwide's sales and distribution teams have a network of music television buyers around the world, so that artists playing for the BBC in the U.K. will have the opportunity to have the same performances seen in a large and diverse list of countries including Brazil, Australia, Japan, Germany and Iran.

BBC Worldwide's Music division has also produced new titles, including a series of BBC retrospectives featuring the best BBC performances from artists such as REM, Oasis, Pet Shop Boys and Coldplay.

The Electric Proms performances from Oasis, the Who and Paul McCartney have already been bought by 24 broadcasters in over 18 countries, while 20 retrospective shows have been sold to 13 broadcasters in 24 countries.

According to the statement, the plan is to continue to grow the music portfolio, with the number of hours of music content set to double this year to over 120 hours before the end of March 2010.

"BBC Worldwide has a long history in music television distribution, but its scope has largely been limited to 'Top of the Pops' and classical music," said Salim Mukaddam, BBC Worldwide Music head of commercial affairs, in a statement.

"The BBC creates some of the most compelling music programming produced anywhere in the world and we are finally making a large proportion of these fabulous programs available to the rest of the world. In conjunction with the record industry we have spent the last 18 months refocusing our efforts with outstanding results. BBC Worldwide is now a serious player in music television distribution and we foresee rapid growth for the business over the next five years."